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Note March 2022: Next version Beta 4

Beta 3e is imminent (is available now via PM request) - it will will be (re)named beta 4 upon public posting. It has hundreds of improvements, enahancements, bug fixes and so is the recommended way to proceed if you are uisng this application. It will be posted alongside beta 3d to this repository shortly. Once it is posted that will become the supported version and users of beta 3d will be expected to upgrade for ongoiung support. Beta 4 will become the release version once any bugs are eradicated.

I have learned that 80% of my support time is spent with users new to MQTT and I'm afraid I do not have the resources to provide that level of support. So this MQTT app is for competent users who understand MQTT and why they are using it. There are many other MQTT applications now available for MQTT and if you are exploring these are probably better suited to you needs. Personal circumstances have changed for me and I need to focus on my family and my own HA system going forward so here's my app and I will address and hopefully fix any issues and deal withwell constructed questions and requests but the remainder I must defer on. Enjoy beta v4 when it becomes available, it's feature complete and pretty solid but will still benefit from some device expansion over time, as is the nature of MQTT.

An updated README for beta 3e / beta 4 will be released alongside beta 4


If you update to beta 3d please update both the app and the MQTT client driver. Additionally if you use the MQTT text driver update that too. The latter is much changed. If you update it then keep a backup of the old driver as it will almost certainly need adaption (see note at the end of this document)

There are significant differences in the MQTT Client driver installation (ignore the below ones)

Please read the first few posts in the topic thread here.

This has been 'mostly' updated now for the beta3d release - please let me know any issues or suggestions

Later / release version of this read me will contain appropriate screenshots rather than just being text based

Release notes for beta 3d 25th January 2021


                   This application is provided free of charge .. enjoy. 

                   Should you wish you can help keep me awake longer via this link




MQTT full featured client for Hubitat Elevation Hubs (HE)

The licence for this beta has been updated to be restrictive whilst in testing. I intend the final version to be under a much less restrictive licence although it will likely require my express written permission to publish any derivate code and no commercial offering will be allowed.

Usage of this code applies full acceptance of the licence and failing technical / legal enforcability the spirit in which the licence was intended.

You may not redistribute this code in any form to any other person. It is provided to members of a restricted group for the purpose of testing and feedback only. You may use and modify this code for your own personal use only.

This read me is now mostly updated for the beta release but is still a 'work in progress'. Before installing please backup first though and as always - use entirely at your own risk and discretion, there is no warranty or accepted liability as to this app being suitable for any purpose whatsoever and no liability for any issues or damage caused by this app in whatsover form may be claimed against the author.

Installation Notes

You must install the code for two components - the MQTT app and the MQTT client driver. The previous (alpha4) two drivers for 'MQTT switch' and 'MQTT dimmer' are no longer required and are deprecated / will no longer function. Instead you can now use any of the 24 Hubitat virtual drivers. The MQTT text driver is still available (optional) but is likely not required but it has been tested with beta3d.

If you have a pre alpha 5 version you may lose/have to recreate any virtual devices that you have that import devices from MQTT into HE. If this is a concern contact me first as there is a way around it. You might wish to retain previous devices using my now deprecated drivers for the purpose of copying the MQTT details over to the newer HE Virtual drivers. Warning: Purging MQTT devices will delete these older devices pemanently.

This read me will be updated as documentation evolves but will be replaced by a richer format supporting screenshots. This richer document MQTT.pdf is already available in the repository.

There are three discussion groups for this beta. A general topic and then one for HomeAssistant issues and one for OpenHAB issues. If you find bugs then this GitHub repository is the place to post them under 'issues'. I notice them quicker and can create a discussion on them individually.


a) Enabling inbuilt HE devices* to publish and be controllable through MQTT either using a compliant homie3 topic or alternatively a simplified minimal topic structure. The simplified topic is the replacement for the previous alphas 'Hubitat' topic structure. It removes most static topics from the homie3 tree and publishes mainly state changes, many of which can be updated by publishing to the state topic but with '/set' appended to the topic. In this minimal form the topic is no longer compliant with the homie3 or homie4 specification.

b) Enables automatic discovery and selected inclusion and control of HE devices* and sensors into other controllers supporting the homie3 protocol (promoted by openHAB).

c) Enables automatic discovery and selected inclusion and control of HE devices* and sensors into other controllers using the Home Assistant discovery protocol (promoted by HA)

d) Enable automatic discovery and selected inclusion and control of external devices* and sensors into HE that are using the homie3 protocol.

e) Enables automatic discovery and selected inclusion of external devices* and sensors into HE that are using the Home Assitant statestream protocol. HA statestream does not support 'control' so small automation scripts ire provided for HA that add this control capability back into HA too. This supports switches and lights and can be extended to other devices by adding more automation scripts to HA.

f) Enables existing MQTT devices* to be 'mirrored' as any of the HE virtual devices and controlled within HE. All the topics are configurable as are the state (attribute) values.. Later referred to as 'manual' or 'adhoc' devices.

Athoms' Homey controller also supports MQTT and the homie3 protocol. They work really well together automatically discovering each others devices and enabling realtime synchronisation and control between the controllers. Two HE's could be setup this way too but HubConnect is the recommended option. HubConnect virtual devices of course work with this MQTT app too.

#I have not yet tested the just released openHAB 2.5 with homie3 discovery but it may still need work. If you do use OH 2.5 (earlier versions will not work) then let me know how it goes. I have since been advised it works well.

*N.B.This version currently supports 'switch' (onoff), 'switchLevel' (dim) colour, most sensors and a lot of other device types too - and will be expanded to include others as needed (requested).

Future Features:

  1. Support of many more device capabilities.

  2. Support Home Assistant MQTT discovery protocol bidirectionally - HE devices are already auto discovered by HA but support devices advertising using this protocol for discovery by HE. (Update: May not implement this latter support for HA Discovery > HE as there are virtually no such devices and HA doesn't support exporting it's devcies this way either)

  3. Support for multiple homie discovered devices.

  4. Support for JSON payloads

  5. Support multiple MQTT brokers (considering)

  6. Improved auto matching of device capabilities between different controllers



Initial setup: (this now includes an install bug workaround step)

  1. Install both the main app MQTT code and the device driver code for MQTT Client and optionally MQTT text.
  2. Now install the app using 'Add User App' . It may seem to hang don't worry. Do NOT install the device manually.
  3. Go to apps and run MQTT then you need to look for a device called 'MQTT Child device driver' - manually delete this device and restart your hub. A new device driver will be auto created
  4. Configure your mqtt broker using the MQTT Broker menu in the app. You must enter the IP (or URL) e.g. tcp:// , username / password are only required if your broker needs them. NB include tcp:// at the start of the entry.
  5. In the Configuration option the MQTT app, it has six setup pages some with sub sections. They are all optional and only needed for that named functionality

For the time being ignore all other options and select 'Next' / 'Done' .. you should see something similar to this in the log.


info MQTT: ================== Startup complete ==================
info MQTT:     0 Hubitat devices enabled on MQTT
info MQTT: ==================================================
info MQTT: Skipping HA stateStream MQTT discovery
info MQTT: Skipping homie MQTT discovery
info MQTT> Connected as Hubitat_Development to MQTT broker tcp://
info MQTT client alpha 5 initialised
info MQTT> Resetting MQTT connection
info MQTT> Log Level set to 2
info MQTT: Hubitat hub name is : Hubitat/Development
info MQTT alpha 5 Initialized
info MQTT: MQTT Installed

Inparticular check that you get the "Connected as Hubitat_xxxx to MQTT broker" success result and no other errors, otherwise nothing will work !

Now choose from the key features listed above which feature(s) a) b) c) d) e) or f) you are wishing to setup the MQTT app for. I recommend choosing just one for now preferably a) as it is the easiest.

Now follow the specific matching option a)-f) below that you need.....

Lastly several of the less obvious app configuration options are discussed right at the end of these instructions in 'Additional Notes'. Please read those too.

a) Enabling inbuilt existing HE devices* to publish and be controllable through MQTT

This is used to expose selected existing HE devices onto MQTT so they report their status and can be controlled via MQTT

From 'Apps' run the MQTT app again and select how you would like to publish your devices to MQTT via MQTT Publish Formats

You need to enable the 'homie3 protocol' option via the MQTT Publish formats

You have two choices - the standard/verbose "homie3 protocol" compatible format or a reduced/simplified version of this which you may find easier to start with. Turn Complete and Compliant OFF for the simplified version. The previous alpha4 'Hubitat Basic' topic structure is now deprecated and replaced by the simplified option above.

homie3: and simplified topic



NB. - To change (command) the state of a HE device (if permitted) use the state topic with '/set' appended at the end of the topic, as shown above.

homie3: full version

includes additional configuration topics required for homie3 compliance

When enabling the homie protocol there is an additional '..retain homie states' option. Enabling this causes the last reported state of your devices to be retained on your MQTT broker. Any new device device connecting to MQTT will then receive these states , although these may be old (residual) values. If you disable it any new device connecting to MQTT will get no information until your device updates its state, but the value will be known to be current. This should normally be left enabled.

Now enable which of your HE devices you wish to publish to MQTT by selecting them in the provided dropdowns in the 'Publish these HE devices to MQTT" menu. A dropdown is provided for each capability**. If you have no devices of that capability on HE then the dropdown will not be shown

HE Switch Devices > MQTT

HE Dimmer Devices > MQTT

click 'Update then and then 'Done'.

These devices will now appear on MQTT under a top level homie/hubname/... topic and update with state changes and also be controllable from MQTT, using .../set appended topic.

NB: (update) It appears the 'Everything' dropdown is not publishing devices corerctly to homie so please use the individual drop down for the capabiliities where possible.

** A quick explanation on 'capabilities': When you select a device in a capability dropdown that device will publish just the drop downs capabilities to MQTT - not all the capabilities it might have. So only some of the devices 'capabilities' might be reported to MQTT. Therefore make sure all the capabilities that you wish are enabled for that device, by selecting it in several drop downs, or to select every capability a device has use the 'Everything (all capabilities/attributes) drop down at the top and select your device. For example some motion sensors provide motion, temperature, battery and light sensors. That's 4 capabilities, each individually selectable.

b) Enable automatic discovery of HE devices by other controllers (e.g OpenHAB) using homie3 protocol

In Configuration >> MQTT Publish Formats. Enable "homie 3 protocol" Ensure "Complete and Compliant homietopics" is enabled Enable "..retain homie states"

Enable the HE devices you wish to be discoverable using homie by following a) above.

Configure your other controllers 'discovery option to point at at HE's device homie topic.


c) Enable automatic discovery of HE devices by other controllers (e.g HA) using Home Assistant Discovery protocol

First enable HA MQTT discovery on your other controller. If using Home Assistant ensure it has 'discovery' enabled and and note the topic that it is 'watching' (within the mqtt section of HA's configuration.yaml file). You will need to restart HA if you edit configuration.yaml

discovery: true
discovery_prefix: homeassistant

Do NOT use the same topic name (base_topic) that HA is publishing statestream to - see e) below.

In Configuration >> MQTT Publish Formats. Enable "homie 3 protocol" *** Enable "Home Assistant MQTT discovery protocol" (requires homie3 publish enabled)

*** You must enable this as HA reads the MQTT payloads from these homie topics In the HA Discovery Topic field enter the discovery_prefix value that HA is using (e.g. homeassistant if as above).

Click through 'Next' 'Next' 'Done'

Devices that are enabled for MQTT within HE will automatically appear as entities in your Home Assistant front end. You may to have press ctrl F5 (or sometimes restart HA) to refresh the HA interface. Alternatively devices may initially appear as 'unused entities' which you can check by clicking the 'hamburger' icon in the top right hand of recent HA builds. These devices are bi-directionally realtime synched with HE.

When HA starts up it checks MQTT for discovered devices. If you want them to persist over HA restarts then ensure you set "Home Assistant MQTT discovered devices" to 'Remember'" in the MQTT app. If it is unchecked then HA will purge these devices when restarted , although it might warn you with yellow boxes the first time it notices they have gone.

When the MQTT app has fully started it sets the $status = ready topic. HA monitors this and at this stage HA MQTT devices will change from 'unavailable' to being functional. Should the MQTT app not complete startup ($status = init) or the MQTT broker topics not be available to HA then related devices will show 'unavailable'

d) Enable automatic discovery and selected inclusion of devices* using the homie3 protocol (promoted by openHAB)

On the third page of the app entitled
"MQTT Discovery Protocols > HE" 'homie' and enable the homie 3 protocol Enter the top level name of the homie 'device' you wish to use in 'Homie Device Topic Name' e.g. for homie/myDevice enter 'myDevice' All nodes within that device will be scanned. click 'Done'

e.g. if a homie topic looks like homie/mainsys/hallway/onoff then you would enter mainsys as 'device' as that is the device identifier (mainsys probably has many other nodes like hallway)

Discovery may take a minute or so depending on how many nodes there are - the log will show you when it is complete.

Next time you enter page three the 'homie' button will be green and show how many devices were discovered and dropdowns will be present that allows you to choose which of these 'homie' devices should be imported into HE.  Once enabled and 'Done' the app will create child devices for those that are enabled, attempting to choose an appropriate virtual device type.  You can manually alter the device type later in HE's Devices menu if needed.

NB You can only imoprt one other homie device and that device must be within your existing homie topic tree (but obviously not within your HE devices homie tree)

e) Enable automatic discovery and selected inclusion of devices* using the Home Assistant statestream protocol

Firstly configure HA to use MQTT statestream by including the following in your HA configuration.yaml (choose your own base_topic: name)


  base_topic: HAStateStream50             # << your choice of topic name

  publish_attributes: true

Add the included "automations.yaml" to your automations.yaml file in HA , or if you don't use this then to configuration.yaml. This enables bi-directional control via statestream (which is normally a status only topic).

On the "Discovery into HE" page  under the HA Discovery sub menu
"MQTT Discovery Protocols > HE"
    "Home Assitant statestream" enable this
 	"Home Assitant Statestream Topic"  enter the topic name that your HA software is publishing to e.g HAStateStream50
 Do NOT uss the same topic name (discovery_topic) that HA is itself discovering devices from (normally 'homeassistant') - see C) above

Click 'Done'

The app will then start up which may take a minute or so and automatically discover all the devices you have asked it too. The log will inform you when Home Assitant Discovery has completed. After completion the app will then populate the discovered device dropdown lists so you can now select which devices you are interested in. This you can see by revisiting the third page of the app where 'Home Assistant' will now be green with a count of how many devices were found. Clicking 'Home Assistant' reveals all the drop down selectors. Once enabled and 'Done' the app will create child devices for those that are enabled, attempting to choose an appropriate virtual device type. You can manually alter the device type later in HE's Devices menu if needed.

Currently for control back to HA you also need to visit the Virtual Devices menu, select the device type in the top dropdown and enable the device for MQTT in the dropdown below that. This will not be needed in beta3e.

f) Enable MQTT devices* to be 'mirrored' as virtual devices and controlled within HE.

Also known as 'manual or 'adhoc' devices this is the most involved option and requires you to 'manually' create virtual MQTT child devices , using any of HE's 24 inbuilt virtual drivers. Then you configure that device to map to the MQTT topics that represent it's state and control. This is all done on the second page of the app entitled "Virtual MQTT Data"

HE can't (despite request !) create a device list dropdown for all 'Virtual Devices' so on this page you must first choose a device type at the top and then you separately manage devices within each type category using a second dropdown.

Listed in the drop downs will be all the child devices using virtual drivers in your MQTT app. This will therefore include child devices that are auto created by discovery. This allows you to manually edit those devices too here if needed.

Data for the MQTT linking between the virtual device and HE is held in .. well 'Data' within each device. You can view this data from the HE 'Devices' menu but you can't create or edit if from there. So this third page provides an editor for existing values and also allows you to create new devices. You can't (and shouldn't need to) create new data values or completely delete old ones.

First of all let's look at creating a new device that is going to 'mirror' an existing device on MQTT i.e we'll import an adhoc device from MQTT into HE. NB. This device on MQTT must not sit within a homie tree - if it does then auto discovery should be used. The device would not be visible as an 'adhoc' device as anything within the homie tree is ignored.

Decide what type of new device this will be in HE. You can choose from any of the 24 HE Virtual drivers (at the top of the page). Choose one and then click 'Edit this Virtual XYZ device"... make sure NO devices are selected in this dropdown (by deselecting) and hit return or click outside of the drop down. Selecting no device here allows a new device to be created, selecting an existing device edits that existing device.

NB: The pages are dynamically created (they change content based on selection) and this is proving a little slow on HE - please allow a couple of seconds for the pages to redraw when you edit things on this page. I will work on speeding this up but it's outside of my control really.

In the dialog box below type a unique name e.g. 'myNewDevice' for your new device and hit return - then click 'Create Device'. Now, after the page refresh select the device and enable it in the drop down 'MQTT enable Virtual XYZ devices'. For 'adhoc' devices to be useable via MQTT they must be enabled in this drop down. This does not apply to Discovered devices - they are enabled on the third page of the app. However to edit an adhoc device it MUST be anabled on this page too, otherwise it displays no data values. This is a safeguard as 'discovery' auto completes what it deduces are the are correct values for data.

So let's link this new device 'myNewDevice' to MQTT. After enabling the device select in the lower dropdown 'Edit this Virtual XYZ Device' your new device 'myNewDevice' click 'Update'. This will then populate the bottom of the screen with settings that contains the MQTT topics (and some default state values) for this new device. We will edit those to match the devices actual values on MQTT. Please leave "Method to add device attribute topics" set to manual for the time being.

Depending on the virtual devices 'attributes' a different number of values are displayed. This allows you to individually map attributes to topics. If the attribute is 'settable' then both an "[attribute] MQTT status" topic and "[attribute] MQTT command topic" value are shown, if it is not then only "[attribute] MQTT status topic" will be offered.

"[attribute] MQTT status topic" contain the MQTT topic address for the state payload for this attribute (HE reads from these) "[attribute] MQTT command topic" values contain the topic address for the cmd payload for this attribute to request a state change (HE writes to these)


"temperature Status value" is a sensor input and may have a data value of myDevice/BedroomMain/temperature1 (containing a payload = 22.6) it would not have a Command data value as it can't be controlled

"switch MQTT status topic" may have a value of myDevice/BedroomMain/heater (containing a payload = OFF) "switch MQTT command topic" may have a value of myDevice/BedroomMain/heater/control (and might expect a payload of 'OFF' or 'ON' )

'switch' and 'temperature' could both be HE attributes of the one device or be within separate devices.

(optional) "Please enter the ON status value for switch" is the expected MQTT value for the boolean 'ON' condition e.g. On or High "Please enter the OFF status value for switch" is the expected MQTT value for the boolean 'OFF' condition e.g. false or 0

These may differ from HE's expected boolean value which for a contact sensor for example is 'open' 'closed'. You can leave these blank to pass a value 'as is' or you can map your own values to HE's eg 'Ein' and 'Aus' to 'on' and 'off' if needed

So here's some typical data for a contact sensor as shown in the 'Devices' menu from HE

contact_Topic: SHController/state contact_OFF: OFF mqtt: enabled contact_ON: ON contact_Cmd:

or a dimmer device

switch_OFF : false switch_ON: true origin: user switch_Topic: sentinel/kitchen/spot-aga/onoff level_Cmd: sentinel/kitchen/spot-aga/dim/set max_Level: 100 mqtt: enabled level_Topic:sentinel/kitchen/spot-aga/dim switch_Cmd: sentinel/kitchen/spot-aga/onoff/set

N.B. for example the switch_Cmd value is equivalent to the value you entered here switch MQTT command topic

Of special note for level based devices is this max_Level: 100 .. or in the app "Please enter the maximum possible level" 100

This allows you to seamlessly map a device on MQTT that has levels of say 0-255 to an HE device all of which use levels 0-100. This works for both status and command messages. Athom Homey uses values between 0 and 1 so you would put 1.0 in here

Now that might seem a lot of information but it really is very easy (and yet very flexible). Work through it and you'll get the hang very quickly, typically it's just the one or two topic values you'll need to enter. More complex virtuals like Virtual Multi and especially my 'most hated' Virtual Omni are more challenging though as they have lots of attributes.

After configuring click through 'Done' and the new subscriptions will be added for your new device. The current values for the state(s) will be updated and control should be available from HE

Additional Notes:

After sucessful configuration and Startup you should see something like the following in the log at 'INFO' level. Individual device types are also broken down.

info MQTT: ================ Startup complete ================
info MQTT:     Discovered 70 HA light devices
info MQTT:     Discovered 47 HA switch devices
info MQTT:     Discovered 13 homie dim devices
info MQTT:     Discovered 10 homie onoff devices
info MQTT:     23 Hubitat devices enabled on MQTT
info MQTT: ==================================================

There are a few other app configuration options to be aware of.


LogLevel (within Configuration) can be set to limit the logging entries the app posts. It is recommended to set it at level 'INFO' but it can be minimised to "WARN". Any log messages that show in red as 'ERROR' need investigation (and reporting). Warn message are normally something just to be aware of.

Purge Discovered Devices

WARNING: Setting this will delete all MQTT 'discovered devices' when you click 'Done'

Switching this ON will clear all the apps child HE devices that were added through 'discovery' but not manual 'ad-hoc' configuration.

Discovered devices can be recreated by re-running the app. However the unique internal device ID for the device will then change and so the newly created devices will be just that ... 'new'. This really only has an impact on HE internal references to the original device e.g. Dashboard devices and RuleMachine rules. You will have to recreate these. The main use is to clear out all your discovered devices but once running happily you should leave this set to OFF. You can always disable devices on the second page of the app config and individually delete previously created devices manually.

Forget Enabled Devices

Enabling this will purge your drop down lists from devices that have been discovered and enabled in these lists at restart. They will be re-discovered at startup but they will not be re-enabled.

Complete and Compliant Homie Topics

This option publishes a minimal but non 'homie3 / homie4' compliant homie/ tree . It is simpler essentially by only presenting state values for device attributes that also (if settable) can be updated by appending /set to the end of the topic and publishing an 'allowable' payload. This is useful if you have no interest in homie and just wish to use HE/MQTT in a simple form. This likely works for HA Discovery but will obviously not work for homie discovery. The 'homie' top level is still mandatory as that allows you later to switch over to a full homie3 usage without having to rename all your topic links. It will not be configurable or ommittable.

Retain homie states

Makes the homie state topics retained on the MQTT broker (normal - as per spec). NB homie /set topics should NOT be published retained.

MQTT Text driver changes in beta 3c

beta 3c . Radically changed - if using old driver keep a backup

This now integrates as a standard HE Device exported to MQTT. It has no inbuilt MQTT capability but will expose an MQTT Text device that provides status and .../set update ability. It also supports prefix and suffix including html tags.

Or add it as a virtual device within the app linked to an adhoc MQTT topic. Then you can set status and command topics via virtual devices within the app.

setText() command includes both prefix and suffix, forceText() command ignores these.

MQTT ...text/set uses setText() so if you want 'raw' values make sure prefix and suffix are empty.


MQTT client for Hubitat







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